Monday, September 30, 2013

I Hate It When I Do That!!!

Most times you figure if you pack everything, anything missing can be picked up along the way.  MOST times ... that is.  THIS time, I'm not towing, and wouldn't you know, all those things I was SURE I packed, can't be found anywhere!!!  I hate it when I do that!!!

First off was my phone charger.  It's okay, I aways carry a spare in the rig, just for these occasions.  What I DON'T have however, is the plug on the end ... you know, the one that allows the electricity to flow through the wire and charge the phone??  I scrounged around until I found one that plugs into the dash ... cigarette lighter type ... but it refuses to charge the phone.  I pretty much imagine I'm not going to last three days on one days charge.  If you need to contact me, you'll have to send an email.   At least I remembered the MiFi!!

It didn't take long until I discovered the next forgotten item ... butter.  How can I have toast without butter???  I KNOW I put it in the fridge!!  I looked everywhere ... in the bathroom, in the cupboards and even in the freezer, because sometimes us old folks get sidetracked and just don't know where we put stuff.  Once I found my keys in the fridge!!  I HATE it when I do that.  While scrounging for the butter, I happened on a jar of Marionberry jam from Oregon ... a suitable substitute for a couple of days.

I'm parked in Hall's RV Park this morning, amid beautiful trees and singing birds, waiting for a donkey bray or two!!  I got to hang out with Sofie and Bitsy, two gorgeous Westies, getting lots of puppy kisses in the process.  We spent two hours going over my Ice Cream Social duties last night, along with parking requirements, acquiring the tri-tip, executing the final clean-up and a pizza party.  We ended the night at Sals Mexican Restaurant in Fresno with the best Chili Verde Fancy Burrito I've ever had!!

This morning I'll head off to Hanford, about 50 miles away where I'll be meeting with other Western Motorhome Association members in the planning stages of the Indio Rally.  Maybe I'll meet someone who can spare some butter!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Service and Diet Updates ...

Out of the blue, the new Gardner I called to help clean up my jungle, showed up at my door last night.  I was getting worried about the lions and tigers that might be lurking!  As with most contractors, they're not good at initial customer service ... but once you can get their attention, they are very helpful.  We agreed my old gardner needs new blades on his mower, as my lawn has sections that look like the grand canyon!  Sal (who I discovered actually lives fairly close) will clean the flower beds, mow and fertilize the lawn, prune and shape the trees and clean out my back fence layered 12 inches deep with trash from the buzzard trees ... all for the same cost as the current gardner who only mows the lawn.  Now THAT's service!!  I just have to remind myself to be patient I suppose!!  Work will begin when I return from the FMCA meeting.

In the meantime, one of the problems with leaving my horse alone is sufficient water.  In the past, I've just let the hose drip a little, resulting in a nice lake at the base of the trough and a high electric bill for the well.  I just couldn't seem to get it adjusted correctly.  Having seen the automatic waterers at the boarding facility and knowing my horse will actually use them, I decided to give it a try.
Bolts are required for installation, but none are included????  Since my stalls are steel tube panels, I needed a sturdy piece of lumber, 14" x 18" to attach the unit to.  Off to Home Depot I trot, looking for help/service.  Unfortunately, help/service wasn't working this day!!  The only thing I could find to mount the waterer to was an 18" round table top ... it works for me!!!  I should have purchased some new drill bits ... mine are very old and dull ... but I got all the holes drilled, even if they are a little crooked.  I never said I was GOOD at this stuff, just that I can get it done and Showby doesn't care if it's not pretty!  
U-bolts attach it to the fence.   After dropping three of the tiny nuts in the water trough, I got it attached, when I discovered the long ends of the bolts would be sticking out too far and would be a hazard to the horse.  So I took everything apart, turned them around and reattached it to the fence rails.  MUCH better!!  All I need now is a different hose end and we're in business!!  It's not exactly pretty, but it works!!!!
While I had the drill out, I put up a couple more hangars for halters and bridles.  I don't mind doing this kind of work at all ... it's pretty fun actually ... just wish I could do a little more professional job.  Next up is the toilet repair!  Upon return from Alaska, one of the whatchamacallits won't shut off the water flow, but it will have to wait for another day.
I KNOW everyone wants a diet update ... boy is it hard to eat rabbit food when you are used to halibut and chips, giant bacon cheeseburgers and cookies!!!  I seem to eat when I get bored, which is often ... making my task even more difficult.  While visiting, one of my friends mentioned she was using "myfitnesspal".  I've heard several people say they are using this free app on their phone and how it has helped them loose 30 pounds and more!!   I had it on my phone, but it seemed to be too time consuming ... like I don't have time!  Really Nancy, you play games on your phone 30 minutes a day!!  She showed me how to use it as a planning tool for each meal AHEAD of time.  If you know you are having Panda Express for dinner, it will help you pick the least of evils, showing what your available balance is for the rest of the day ... allowing you to make better choices for breakfast and lunch.  So far it's working ... the ONLY diet method I've ever tried that even came close.  Wish me luck!!  
I'll spend today repacking the rig ... even though it's still not "unpacked" ... and will be heading South.  I'll also be getting the location of the Santa Maria Tri-Tip for purchase and transport to the Indio Rally in January.  Can't wait to see everyone again!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Battle Begins and Ends!!!

I'm sure there are good and bad things about every place you might choose to live when it comes to critters.  In Arizona, it's pack rats and scorpions.  At my house, it hornets or wasps and black widow spiders!!  At least that's what I THINK they are .. and they are prolific!!!  Luckily I don't have any problems "inside" the house, but venture outside and it's another story!  These two set up house above my front door.  Surprisingly, their neighbor was the largest daddy long legs I've ever seen!!  I usually head for the biggest hammer I can find to dispatch these little invaders.  Since these guys were about nine feet up, the chance of missing the swing and having one fall down my shirt while perched on a ladder, was a scary proposition that I was not willing to risk.  Enter my second best option ... wasp spray!!
This stuff is the BOMB!!!   It kills spiders, wasps and really, any insects, as well as does some nice damage to burglars and car jackers.  I carry a can in every vehicle and two in the RV.  It sprays up to 27 feet away!!!  PERFECT!!!  As you can see, it definitely worked on these guys.
Death in an instant!!!!!  I apologize for being so gruesome today, but really ... don't you feel good when you dispatch these guys???
Come to think of it, I spied a small wasp nest on the eaves ... and since I was in the destruction mood, I took a walk around the outside of the house.  As any great detective would, I found my targets in a flash ... five two-inch nests of them!!!  A quick spray, followed by a sprint to at least 30 feet away, led to more death and destruction.  
These wasps tend to hang in the grass where the puppies roam.  I have on several occasions, had to hold an ice pack on Jessie's foot to relieve the pain and swelling caused by a sting, so she's my biggest supporter when it comes to the elimination of these guys!
It's back to unpacking ... and packing up again.  Tomorrow I leave for an FMCA Indio Rally planning meeting in Hanford, meeting with Bill Hall, who is training me in his specialty ... the ICE CREAM social!!  I'll update you on everything Indio Rally in the next few days!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Happened to Service???

I appreciate service ... and I pay well when I receive it, but it seems to be a thing of the past, just like me!  What happened to businesses providing service?? Hmmm I think I sound like Bad Nick.  Did I mention that my friends, with all good intentions, turned my sprinkler system up rather high while I was gone to be sure there were no brown spots in my lawn?  I definitely think I would opt for the brown spots over the overgrowth of bermuda grass I now have invading my flower beds.  It was so overwhelming that I decided to hire a gardner (with much younger strong MEN) to fix the problem.  So far I have called three ... and none have seen fit to even return my call.  Did I miss the spectacular fireworks display of money floating from the sky making everyone rich while I was gone??  No one seems to want work anymore, so my idea that we were pretty much in a depression must be completely WRONG!!!  Same goes for the tree trimmer and the horseshoer.  With no other options, I started on the task myself.  I finished two small areas, trimmed one tree and sprayed the driveway for weeds.

I ended up with so much brush that I had to quit.  My "green" can is already full to the brim with bad hay from yesterday's cleaning of the barn area!!   All of which means I get to look at the overgrowth until Sunday when the bins are emptied.  Where's the advil?????
In the meantime, although this isn't the best of pictures, my Showby horse is doing well.  I've actually been riding him every day for 10-20 minutes.  If he had shoes on, I'd be taking him out, getting him in even better shape ... but alas, the horseshoer must have won the lottery, since he hasn't called either.  I guess it's just too much trouble to drive here for only one horse, even though it ends up putting $100 in his pocket for 45 minutes work.  I'd work for $133 an hour!!  So what happened to SERVICE??
At this point, I'm tired, cranky, achy and could use a cigarette!!!  Not really, I don't smoke ... but 5 or 6 advil should help!!  Next up will be pruning the 5 foot high rose bushes I have along my back fence ... the ones that the landscaper assured me were Carpet Roses and only grow 2 feet high!!  In the meantime, the spiders and ants will have to wait.  Don't worry, I'll get them in the end!!!

I don't think I showed an image of the wire sculpture I found in Seaside.  Hand made by a very young local artist there, I was stopped two times on my way to the car by people asking about it.  It's about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.  How smart was she to attach rocks ... like he was standing on them ... to keep it upright and balanced.  I brought back lots of cool treasures, but I think this is my favorite!!
Scratched by thorns and dirty from head to toe, I'm off to Tractor Supply for some "horse" things and the biggest saw I can find.  My neighbor's trees are hanging over breaking the fence, and he refuses to trim them.  Since the tree trimmer also won the lottery ... how amazing is THAT!!! ... I'm going to hack away in the hopes I kill the tree!!!  Then I won't have to worry about it any more!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Idle Hands And All That!!!

But it's not going to be MY problem for some time!!  Too much cleaning to do!!!  First up ... remove the kennels and protect the hay ... it's time to bring Showby home!
I pretty much left the place a big mess when we pulled out in May.  Now I'm paying the price!  The large kennel can go, as I have no big dogs.  I did consider leaving it up so anyone entering the back yard would wonder where the dog was .. as in burglars ... but I really need the hay covered.  It's very easy to disassemble the kennel ... just a wrench to loosen the clamps.  The hard part is dragging them over to the horse stalls for storage!!
Now you see it ... now you don't!!!  Two hours later .... how time flies!!!
With that done, it's time to move the hay.  Now THAT took a little longer!!  I probably shouldn't be doing this at my age ... but then again, maybe that's why I CAN do this at my age!!!  There are tricks to using hay hooks and stacking 125 pound bales of alfalfa.  If you ever need my services, I'll be happy to provide some instruction.  At least now I can stop buying $100 tarps that just shred by the end of summer.  Although I used to buy hay by the retriever load (80 bales) I've opted to purchase from a local feed store (at a higher price of course), 40 bales at a time, which they will stack for me.  I guess it's a wash!
Time for the cleanup ... the two bales remaining have to go to the dump ... moldy hay is killer for horses!!
Now ... move the motorhome, hook up the horse trailer, move the motorhome back, get the horse, move the motorhome, park the trailer ..... it's the musical chairs of motorhome versus horse trailer.  I REALLY need one more parking spot.  Then it's off to purchase a pressure washer to clean up the black widows.  That's the down side to living in a sandy area ... they LOVE it here, and although I sprayed and sprayed before I left (you know, with the stuff that will work for 12 months?) they have again invaded every nook and cranny!!  My Ninja spider killing skills are known far and wide however ... pictures to come!!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's An Addiction ...

I keep hearing about fall ... fall is here, it's cooler ... but not where I live in Central California.  Daytime temps are still upwards of 88 and I've been forced to turn the AC on.  One of the interesting things I didn't know about RV'ing is how conservative everyone has to be.  You conserve water, you conserve T.P., you conserve fuel ... what a shock when I come home to see how much of everything is wasted!!  It takes a full three minutes of running my water in the sink full blast before it gets hot.  I have one of those new electric heat-as-you-need-it systems instead of a hot water heater.  What a waste of energy and water!!  Instead of cooling approximately 200 sq ft, I'm cooling 3,000!!!  Pretty sobering ... and I pride myself on being one of the conservative homeowners in my area!!  Apparently my neighbors have no clue, because when PG&E sends out their little "how much electricity you use" letter, everyone in my area is at the highest scale ... I'm at the bottom.   Besides just being cheap, I credit that to being an RV owner.  Being conservative has become an addiction!!

One of the problems I encountered when I got home was the smell of a house being locked up tight for five months.  You know, that musty "old" smell?  Does anyone have any ideas how to get rid of it??  I had all the drains plugged, so it's not from the sewer.  I've left the windows open for two days, turned on all the fans and cleaned and cleaned.  Nothing! I even used up an entire bottle of Fabreeze .. the one they advertise takes care of EVERY odor??  Still nothing!  I even Fabreezed the dogs ... no help.  Maybe someone with more experience has some ideas I could try.

Today's task is to disassemble the big dog kennel and move about 50 bales of hay under the small shed so I can quit buying $100 tarps that disintegrate over the summer.  Sound like fun??  Now you know one of the reasons I need a MAN around the house.  Really, I'm getting too old for this stuff.  I visited my baby horse yesterday at the boarding facility and will pick him up tomorrow.  If you remember, I have him on some expensive meds ... and it's working really well.  He looks gorgeous, like he did in the old days ... not that I can ride him much ... but he looks good!!!  That's a horse owner for ya .. it's an addiction!!

Lastly, I hate to complain, but this BLOG thing has become an addiction too!!!  I can't even have a cup of coffee before I'm on the computer reading Gypsy Journal RV Travel Newspaper Nick and Terry and Dan Chance Travel By Chance, along with several more.  To make it worse, I go around all day looking for things to take pictures of to post on the blog.  It's ALWAYS better with pictures ... which means I take a camera with me everywhere!  I'm telling you, it's an ADDICTION!!!  So tomorrow, I'll have pictures!!!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Let The Diet Games Begin!!!

Eating out as much as we did the last 5 months was a good thing ... and a bad thing.  I crept up on the scales and held on to the wall, hoping I could sneak up on it and it would read 5 pounds more than when I left.  No such luck ... I put on 10 pounds and my clothes don't fit.  I just cleaned out my closet in May (a really big thing if you ever saw my closet), and I don't want to fill it up again, so the first stop was at the store for some rabbit food!!  Change is hard, especially when you love bacon and cheeseburgers!!  I read recently however, that if you just change one little thing a week ... like half a cup of coffee instead of two ... or an egg for breakfast instead of a bagel ... that it's easier to get used to the deprivation!!!!!  Worst of all, I'm out of Ben and Jerry's!!  It took lots of willpower to pass that section of the freezer and go for green beans!!
I think I just figured out why so many people want to full-time!!  It took me 2-1/2 hours to clean my house ... in the rig, it takes me 5 minutes.  It takes two weeks to change a habit ... it was pretty easy adapting to the small motorhome, it's much harder trying to adapt back to a large house.  There was no yard work ... no messes to clean up, except for that bottle of chili sauce that came flying out of the fridge and hit the floor ... it was just so much easier with less "stuff".

Speaking of stuff ....  this is maybe half ... an Alaskan license plate??  Really????  Where did THAT come from!!
And of course the quilt material!  After dragging all this from the rig, I guarantee I have learned my lesson.  Any travels from here on out will NOT result in the purchase of soooo many treasures!!  They go in so easy one at a time, but getting them out is a tripping/falling hazard!!
I picked up my mail that was forwarded to a friends house to the tune of $300 ... glad I can keep the U.S. Post Office in business.  Two boxes, 12x18x10 were finally reduced to a stack of large envelopes 8 inches high.  Talk about waste ... 1/3 was magazines I never ordered, 1/3 was "refinance your house" and the rest just trash.  The funny part is that my friend actually threw away all the advertisement junk!!

Here's my final tally of the rig expenses for the 5 months ...

Miles traveled                   8,670  (can you believe it???)
Gal fuel used                    1,008 
Cost                                $4,602  (avg $4.56 per gallon, most $$ left in Canada)
Gal DEF used                       16  (take it with you ... it's not readily available in Canada)
Avg MPG                            8.6
RV Parks                        $1,800 (not counting the purchase of a new TT membership)
Food and Misc                I'm guessing here ... maybe around $500 a month

Dan's estimate of $10,000 was right on the money!!  If you never ate out, you would probably spend much less, but what's the fun in that???

Best trip of my life ... and I hope to have many more!!  I plan on getting MORE than my money's worth out of my Thousand Trails membership!!!  Now to find some place to fly a kite!!!

Happy Trails!!                                               

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Home Again ... Home Again !!

Bright and early, we said our goodbyes with hugs.  Knowing that I will see Patty in November and we will meet up again in Indio and Quartzite made it a little easier.  With a big storm coming in possibly bringing snow over the mountains, Dan and Patty needed to hit the road ... and fast!!  Once I was past the obstacle course of an exit from the fairgrounds, I turned south down I-5.  With the cruise control on and not too much traffic, I recounted the places we had been as I skirted the rain.
Along the way, harvesters were working overtime trying to beat the wet weather.  The corn above was being chopped for cattle feed ... the rice below probably ending up overseas.  I have to admit there were some beautiful scenes as I cruised along.  It reminded me how much food the central valley produces, and even though I don't particularly like living here, it does have it's moments!!
In Stockton I actually headed into blue skies.
And of course ... California highway construction.  This section in Stockton has been torn up for almost two years.  Because of the narrow lanes and concrete blocks, I stay in the middle lane.  I figure if anyone has the guts to pass me on the left, can have at it!!!  It's also has less bumps and holes!!!
Finally I pulled into the driveway around noon.  The dogs were ecstatic .. jumping on the couch and chairs, running around in the back yard like crazy!!  That made coming home a little easier to take until I went into shock about the state of the yard!!   My friends who kept telling me the grass was dead, turned up the sprinklers so much that weeds cover every inch of flowerbeds and are two feet high.  Oh my .... that sure put a damper on my day!  As of now, I have unloaded six loads from the RV (mostly the fridge) and filled one whole container of weeds.  Time to call a gardner!!!
I also discovered my mail is in la-la land.  According to the post office website, once your forwarding order has expired, mail will be delivered to your house again.  The order expired 8/23 ... but I have no mail in my mailbox.   No telling where it has gone for the last month.  

Now comes the hard part ... unloading all the "stuff" from the rig.  Pretty sure this will take a day or two!!  Good news though ... my pickup truck started right up after being parked for 5 months.  YAY!!!
Play time is over ... back to work unloading!!  I'm definitely NOT buying so much stuff any more!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Last Night of an Epic Journey!!

 From these beautiful seaside views .....

 To this scene of four-lane traffic, we traveled from Eureka to Colusa today.  Another gorgeous sunny day in paradise with the threat of rain around the corner.

We passed through the quaint town of Willits ... home of the Willits to Eureka Train ride I took many years ago.  At that time, it took all day because the tracks were in such disrepair and the last car kept jumping the track.  I stayed at a bed and breakfast in Eureka, and returned the following day in pouring rain.  It took so long, that 5 miles out of Willits, the train stopped.  The Engineer had put in his 8 hours and wasn't allowed to run the train into town.  Two hours later, he got a special dispensation that allowed him to continue the remaining 5 miles to the station.  Apparently it was one of the last runs the train made before going out of business.
We left Hwy 101 and took 20 East around Clear Lake.  The road is sometimes narrow, many times rough and has curves that require 25-35mph speeds.  The trees have started to turn colors, making it a very nice drive.  I do have to admit I'd much rather go 55 mph on a straight road than a curvy one!!!
Arriving in Colusa, we stopped at the County Fairgrounds looking for a place to spend the night, to find them closed for the weekend.  Thankfully, someone in the building located a maintenance man, who directed us to a place to park.
For $20 we have a 50 amp hookup with water.  It's very quiet, except for the quilt show going on in the building next door!!!  Actually, they are setting up for a wedding, but you should have heard Dan when we said quilt!!!  Last night it rained for a couple of hours and today a downpour is expected with possible snow in the mountains.  Time for an early departure!!!
All good things must come to an end ... and unfortunately, that time has come for this epic journey of mine to Alaska.  Dan told me I would experience every kind of driving possible and would be an expert by the end of this trip.  I'm not sure about that, but it has been an experience of a lifetime that I would do again at the drop of a hat.   Thanks to these two great people, I now have the confidence to drive almost anywhere.  This morning I make the final leg home.  I'm sad to be leaving my friends who have become family and I'll probably starve since I won't have my personal chef.  The good news is that Patty and I will travel to Costa Rica in a month or so and of course we'll get together again in Indio and Quartzite.

Travel on friends!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

We're Not In Oregon Any More Aunt Em!!

As a native Californian, I know how those border crossings are, so I cooked all the brussel sprouts and ate all the fruits and vegetables I had for breakfast!!  I wasn't about to hand them over at the Ag Inspection Station.  That done, we packed up and left The Mills Casino RV Park.

It was a lovely sunny Coos Bay morning as we drove South, passing through Bandon.  It seems the closer we get to home, the faster we go!!  After five months I think we are all eager to get started on our  to-do lists at home!!
Many years ago, Patty and Dan along with my then-husband and myself, took a short drive to Sturgis.  I think it was about a 2,000 mile journey.  At the California border, the guys decided to ride the motorcycles along Hwy 101.  Upon arrival in town, they were denied access at the Inn.  If you saw them, you wouldn't be the least bit surprised!!  At that time, Harley riders weren't thought of highly.  When Patty and I came along (in the car), we got the room with no problem.  It has always been a big joke between us ... and it was fun pointing out the hotel as we drove by!!!
Despite the beautiful sunny start, the fog began rolling in the further south we went.  At times, I couldn't even see the big motorhome in front of me!!  That's not such a good thing ... I can get lost in an RV park!!!   It was a beautiful drive, just rolling along between the redwoods and the rocky coast.
Just in case you weren't sure which direction the ocean was, these nice people painted directions on the street ... probably so the tourists would quit knocking on their doors ... lost!!!  
There were quite a few bridges being repaired and roadways sloughing off the side of the cliffs.  Just so you know, I DID make this light ... kind of ... okay, I ran the red!!  I just didn't want to sit for 15 minutes waiting for the next green.
As we passed through Gold Beach there was talk of the Jet Boat Ride upriver, but we've got blinders on and just kept trucking!!
At Pelican State Beach, we crossed into California as I rehearsed my speech over and over.  I've just been camping in Oregon.  I've just been camping in Oregon.  I was even trying to swat the fruit fly that was buzzing around my windshield.  Wait for it .............. they were closed!!!  That's a first ... I breathed a big sigh of relief and relaxed for the rest of the drive!!  The reason???  I have a few pieces of shells and driftwood stashed under the bed, well lots of driftwood really.  I figure after being in saltwater for who knows how long, all the bugs are dead, and it may be perfectly okay to bring them home ... least I hope so!!  

Through Crescent City and on to Eureka, we are definitely in California ... lots of traffic, screwy one way streets,  noise and speeding drivers.  Dan drove right to the Shoreline RV Park where we have 30 amp full hook-ups, pull through sites for $35 with a Good Sam discount.  
You can't miss the park, it's located directly next door to one of the biggest Harley stores I've seen.
As usual, after a hard day's drive, Dan is starving (I packed a lunch this time) so we headed off to check out the park-recommended Chinese restaurant.  Dan made a right hand turn and heard QUILT STORE!!!  He tried to pretend he couldn't hear and made a really quick left turn, almost throwing me out of the back seat, and roared off!!!  In the end however, he was outnumbered!!  Even though he pretended he didn't remember where it was, we found another amazing store full of beautiful fabrics.  Unfortunately for us, this one didn't have Guns and Ammo magazine.  The owner said she could pull some strings and get a spot at the local Cigar/Brandy store for him, but we acquiesced, staying only 10 minutes.  This store is definitely worth a return trip!!!

Although this is a very nice park, it is rather noisy at night, being right next to the freeway.  After a fitful sleep, today we head to Clear Lake.  It will be our last vacation day together as we split up ... Patty and Dan heading across towards Nevada and me driving down I-5 to home.  I've got mixed emotions ... I know my puppies will be thrilled to see their big back yard, but I'm really loving this lifestyle and don't want it to end!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Day On The Wild Side !!!

WARNING!    WARNING!!   WARNING!!!   Lots of pictures of beautiful babies follow!!!  You probably know that Patty, Dan and I are all about the cats ... no matter what kind!!  Since the West Coast Game park is just south of us in Bandon Oregon, it was a mandatory stop upon arrival in Coos Bay.  This is a Caracal (Kara-Call) or desert lynx from Africa.  He's about 5 months old and the most beautiful "kitty" I've ever seen.  To make it even better, we got to pet and play with him for about 30 minutes while the baby tiger ate his lunch.  He's actually tuned in to a peacock in this image.
For a measly $14.50 we obtained entrance to this walk through safari/petting zoo.  It happened that on this day they have ALL the babies available for personal interaction and pictures, five to be exact.
Watch where you step ... there are lots of little bombs around the premises from the pigmy goats, deer and llamas.  For 50 cents you can pick up an ice cream cone full of goodies to feed them.
This is baby Bonnie ... a black bear cub getting a treat of evaporated milk and water.  
She was a sweetie, but as you can tell, I wasn't quite as brave as I am later on with Bob.  Her playmate is another black bear, brown in color, who name is .... you guessed it, Clyde!!
There were two ferrets, cute as buttons, along with a white skunk.  Course the skunk didn't get quite the action the two ferrets did!!!
We learned that ferrets don't have a backbone ... but cartilage, allowing them to roll up into a small ball, as well as get through small cracks to tear up your cupboards and dressers!!
First time ever I've seen a lion play with the toys provided for their entertainment.  Although the cages aren't the biggest ever, the animals appear very healthy and well kept.  This is a breeding facility that produces babies for other facilities and zoos.
She's got her eyes on one of about 40 goats and deer that roam the property.

Kitty love!!!  This pair of lynx were mutually grooming each other.  Notice the white spot on the lower female's ear?  All of the cats here have that white spot that I never noticed before.  The keepers said it helps protect them in the wild ... whoever may be sneaking up on them from behind, will see these white spots and think it is the animals eyes, thus scaring them off.  
Whispering sweet nothings in his ear ......
This is Todd ... the baby fox.  Handled by a dog trainer with a big degree, he knows several tricks and is very well behaved.  I wish he would have a talk with Cooper!!  Soft and smooth as silk ... he was a sweetheart.

All of the big guys outside were sleeping in the sun.  Dinner time comes after 5:00pm when all visitors have left.  These two are working up their appetites for steak, ground turkey and beef, along with some special dog food and vitamins.  

This is Harley, just hanging out.  His bride, a black leopard, is pregnant and VERY cranky!!  These are the guys that drag their kill to the top of the trees for dining privacy.  
And here's one special kitty ... Bob the Bobcat!!!  Also a baby, he loves to play and interact with people.  He's about the size of my Jack Russell Jessie Belle.
He was raised at home by one of the employees here, along with the Caracal, who became his best friend.  
Bob and Dan .....
Bob and Patty .....
Bob and ME!!!  He's like a big kitty ... crawled on to my lap and snuggled while I scratched his back.  I can easily see why people want to keep them as pets, but please don't.  They really are wild animals.
Bob and his "mom"/handler!!  About twelve pounds here, he will grow to 30+.  Achieving adulthood in about 18 months, he has a new cradle robber ... I mean bride ... waiting in the wings.
This 3 month old bengal tiger was as big as a large dog.  He was all about playing ... although we were allowed in to pet and play with him, the handler kept him moving, so our interaction was minimal.  Most of the images came out blurry ... he's VERY fast!!  
At last he laid down for all of 15 seconds!  Those paws are as large as my hands!!  By the time he's 5 months old, he won't be allowed out with the public.  Even at this young age, you can see the "animal" in him
Mostly he practiced his attack mode ... leaping and grabbing with his claws.  With baby teeth and a full belly, he wasn't doing much damage.  
THIS is the elegant Caracal ... he does have a name, but it's not Bob or Tom ... it was something I couldn't pronounce.  Talk about a gorgeous animal.  About the same size as Bob, he looks like your everyday house cat.  With long legs, big paws and ears that can pick up the slightest sound, this guy is made for hunting.

If not on a leash, he would have cleaned up on the peacock just to the right.  
Well there's no way to top that beauty, except maybe for Patty to find the fabric she has been looking for at Forget-Me-Knots Quilt Store in Bandon.  This store has the right idea ... two chairs and a table full of Guns and Ammo magazines!! 
We headed back to Coos Bay to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day at Wendys   ....  you didn't know???  It's never too late to celebrate!!  Of course Dan was the only one that actually got a cheeseburger, but no matter ... everyone celebrates in their own way!!!

This morning we are off for California.  I'm eager to get home with all the goodies I purchased, but sad to see the trip coming to an end.  Time to start planning my next jaunt to Southern California and Arizona.